Summer Sailstice 2015Summer Sailstice June 20/21

US Sailing is inviting literally everyone to sail ‘together’ for the 15th annual, worldwide Summer Sailstice celebration of sailing.  For current sailors this means starting their summer of sailing by hoisting sails on the summer solstice weekend of June 20/21.  For non-sailors it’s an invitation connect with sailing at one of the thousands of sailing programs and facilities that are open and available to the public on US Sailing’s ‘Where to Sail’ online directory. 

The Summer Sailstice website again plays host by allowing everyone to RSVP and post their weekend sailing event or plans to capture a weekend in the life of sailing.  ‘We really want to make people aware of just how accessible sailing is,’ said Stu Gilfillen training director with US Sailing. ‘With over 50% of the US population living within 50 miles of the coastal sailing facilities and the vast majority of the balance of the population living within 50 miles of a freshwater sailing venue it’s much easier to get on the water than most people think.’

While sailing seasons vary from the far North of Maine and Alaska to the far South in Florida, Texas and California the summer solstice weekend works out to be an ideal time celebrate all aspects of sailing.  Schools out and the peak summer sailing season is about to begin with summer camps, community sailing programs, yacht clubs, cruising clubs and numerous other sailing entities opening their doors to both new and experienced sailors.

‘I grew up a New England sailor and one of the best things about starting Summer Sailstice is discovering all the different places and types of sailing people do across the US and, in fact, around the world,’ says Summer Sailstice founder John Arndt.   ‘Did you know there are 40’ cruising sailboats sailing in North Dakota on Lake Sakakawea the second largest manmade lake in the US? There’s 40’ cruising boats sailing on Lake Texoma in Texas too.  There is also lots of sailing a mile in the sky in lakes such as Lake Dillon in Colorado, Lake Tahoe in California and Jackson Lake in Wyoming. Of course the US is home to the ‘fresh coast’ of the Great Lakes too – the largest lakes in the world.  There’s literally sailing almost everywhere.  Even without water there is 60mph dry land sailing on wheels in the salt flats of Nevada.’

The concept of sailing was discovered over 4,000 years ago but many people living today have yet to discover its everlasting magic.  Simple, small boats on a lake, river or bay take millions of people sailing every year.  ‘Over the years US Sailing has trained thousands of instructors who teach at an endless number of public access sailing facilities across the country,’ adds Gilfillen.  ‘For Summer Sailstice we’re encouraging as many of these facilities as possible to throw open the doors, hoist their sails and get as many people out on the water as possible.  When new people discover sailing at any of these facilities they discover one of our great escapes, a place to learn new skills, meet new people, relax and enjoy one of America’s best forms of environmentally friendly, close-to-home adventures.  And there’s no better family time than sailing time.’

The Summer Sailstice website allows everyone to find an event near them.  The events are marked by either a yellow pin meaning ‘open to the public’ or a red pin meaning a ‘demonstration event’ showcasing the best of sailing life.  When you browse the site you’ll find all kinds of sailing from cruising to racing and tallships to backyard dinghies.  The beauty, fun, simplicity and accessibility of sailing is all on display and being celebrated across the US on the Summer Sailstice weekend.  Find a boat, jump aboard as crew and hoist your sails to start your summer of sailing.

To learn more about Summer Sailstice, visit www.summersailstice.com or to find out ‘Where to Sail’ visit http://www1.ussailing.org/wheretosail/wheretosail.aspx

Destinations

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My Happy Place – Lake Simcoe and the Trent-Severn Waterway

My Happy Place – Lake Simcoe and the Trent-Severn WaterwayBy Paul and Sheryl Shard

It’s funny how a body of water can shape you. Shape your mood. Shape your friendships. Shape your future.

Since you’re reading Canadian Yachting, then I’m pretty sure you have a sense of what I’m talking about here - a favourite lake, bay, pond, river or ocean that, when you’re near it, in it or on it, it makes your heart sing and good things happen.

For me, this is Lake Simcoe and the Trent-Severn Waterway in Ontario. Although my husband, Paul, and I have sailed over 100,000 nautical miles in the four sailboats we’ve owned and have been blessed to visit..

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Ranger Tugs R-23

Ranger Tugs R-23By: Andy Adams

At the boat shows, the Ranger Tugs’ classic tugboat lines always grab the crowds, with the wives and children most likely to want to stop and have a better look. Well, they should, because the Ranger Tugs R-23 deserves a second look…a long look in fact.

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